Giant dragonfly

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    Chrissie Ward

    This might be of interestto entomologists: on our transect walk today, 12 Jan, at 1.30pm we saw a giant dragonfly on the bank of Maitai River in Nelson. Never seen one like this before. We measured it approximately against my pen, and it was just under 9cm long. Black body with creamy yellow spots in pairs of seven. Yellow spots on the head, and a yellow "nose". Looked it up when we got home and it was definitely a NZ Bush giant dragonfly, Uropetala carovei. It had "petal shaped hind appendages", so was male. Amazingly, when Tony held his finger in front of it, it was coaxed on. He then walked with it for about 10 paces, then it flew away.Amazing what you see when you are looking for butterflires!

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    That’s so nice to hear of the giant dragonfly 🙂 It must have been beautiful.

    We have a small/medium black one that visits our house from time to time. It’s always alone but spends ages flying around, probably as we live close to water. I don’t know much about them, so let me know if I can do anything to encourage them or help them as they seem so rare.



    Great post Chrissie. It has brought back memories for me.
    These huge dragonflies were regular visitors to Ruakaka Bay in the Marlborough sounds for the many years that I visited there up until the 1990’s. Never seen one here in Palmerston North though. I guess it was the fact that we were surrounded by native bush in the sounds – no roads for many miles, and very quiet and tranquil there in those days before the advent of jet-skis and other noisy contraptions.

    We used to play badminton in a clearing at Ruakaka Bay and had to be careful not to hit these critters because for some reason playing badminton appeared to attract the dragonflies and it was not unusual to have 3 or f of them flying around at a time. I wonder if they are still around down there. Do any of our Marlborough people know? – Jane

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